The very first time I heard or read the phrase “the rise and fall of” was in my history class.
We studied the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, of Babylon, of WWII, and of the 3rd Reich.
We also studied the rise and fall of kings, emperors, and world leaders that came into power and military might.
So, as a young child, I learned that one has to rise before one can fall.
King Nebuchadnezzar is a perfect example in the book of Daniel.
Even after being warned of the things to come in a dream and a vision from God and interpreted by Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar would not hear such a thing.
The king spoke saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”- Daniel 4:30
And the fall followed.
“While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!” – Daniel 4:31
And scripture records that he fell hard!
He even grazed with the animals of the fields for seven years. His hair had grown to lengths and his nails were like birds claws! (Daniel 4:32)
When You Fall Down You Don’t Have to Stay Down
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18
One of the fondest memories I have is when my children went from crawling to walking.
They would crawl to the couch and pull themselves up.
They would take a few steps only to fall down again.
Repeatedly rising and falling, rising and falling, until they got their balance.
Eventually, like all children, they learned to walk and became adults.
But like all of us, sooner or later in their lives there will be a fall.
That’s because no one this side of heaven is perfect.
The Bible says, “All sin and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
I have always told my children that it doesn’t matter what walk of life you come from, we all will come crashing down sooner or later.
I believe it’s God’s way of getting our attention. But the key is you don’t have to stay down.
“For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity.” – Proverbs 24:16
The Bible says that even though you’ll fall down or go through times of great trial and testing, there is hope.
The hope that God almighty will pick you back up again…
As Christians, we are God’s work in progress.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
So no matter who you are or how hard you’ve fallen, there is forgiveness and restoration available to you.
All because of a certain child written about in the Gospels.
A child that would grow up to change the world forever!
A child named Jesus.
He was not born to rise and fall, but to take the fall and then rise.
We find Him in the temple with Mary, Joseph, and a man named Simeon who is prophesying about this child’s future.
“Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” – Luke 2:34-35
This child was definitely destined for the fall and rising for generations to come, however, He would have to rise before taking the fall for all of mankind.
How Did Jesus Triumph Over Tragedy?
This Easter, we have a lot to celebrate and to be thankful to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Lucifer is a created being but in his lifting of his heart in pride, He was cast out of heaven and fell to earth never to rise again. (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:17)
You and I are created beings as well.
Fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God Almighty Himself. (Psalm 139)
Yet many times we fall flat on our face in disobedience to God.
That’s because apart from God, we can do nothing!
But not our God.
He is perfect, good, and sinless.
He is The Everlasting God, The Great I AM, The Alpha, The Omega, The Almighty, The Savior, Author, Word, Truth, Light, Shepherd, The King, The Lord, The Holy One Of Israel, The Giver of Life.
As the earth is His footstool and heaven is His throne, He doesn’t just fall.
He rather willingly stepped down to earth.
He took His robe off and clothed Himself in humanity.
And from the time of conception by The Holy Spirit, He began to rise. (John 1:14; Isaiah 6:1)
First when the babe leaped in Elizabeth’s womb at the presence of Mary with child (Luke 1:39-44).
At birth as the shepherds rushed to give praise and honor to Our Savior.
In Jerusalem, when Simeon took Him up in his arms and blessed God.
As a child, when the wise men brought gifts to worship and praise God for the newborn King.
In the temple, as a young boy of twelve astonishing the teachers of His time.
At the Jordan River, as heaven opened and The Holy Spirit descended on Him and God proclaimed, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
He began to rise in popularity and mighty in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Casting out demons and healing the lame and blind.
Teaching and proclaiming the kingdom of heaven that would eventually lead Him to the cross of Calvary.
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” – Isaiah 53:5-6
And although it seemed like a great fall for those present at Calvary when our Savior was raised up on the cross, it was just the start of His ascension.
It was the beginning of God’s great plan to redeem man back to Himself before the foundations of the earth.
What man meant for evil, God meant for good.
One can’t even imagine what the disciples must have felt.
The hurt, pain, anguish, the sick feeling that comes from losing a loved one.
The wailing and crying as your spirit desperately can’t give anymore and is looking for some type of comfort.
Wondering what’s next.
And, what was to come next was something wonderful that would go beyond their beliefs.
They had witnessed the resurrection of the widow’s son at Nain, Jairus daughter, and watched as Lazarus walked out of the tomb at Jesus’s command.
But now, their King and Savior was hanging on a cross.
Who was going to raise Him?
Jesus Laid Down His Life So We Could Rise With Him
“No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” – John 10:18
Jesus did exactly what He said He would do.
He had to fall, but He didn’t stay down.
He rose again.
And rise He did, to sit at the right hand of God for you and me.
“Now I will rise,” says the LORD; “Now I will be exalted, Now I will lift Myself up.” (Isaiah 33:10)
He rose to be our intercessor, comforter, protector, and provider.
Our King, our Lord, our Good Shepherd, and our Savior.
We as Christians in our walk might stumble or maybe sometimes even fall.
But there is One who is always there to help us in our time of need.
And that is what Easter is all about.
The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
His death on the cross broke the curse of sin for all of mankind.
And when He rose again, it gave us all who believe in Him the assurance that we too will one day rise up to heaven.
One final thought, even Nebuchadnezzar in all his pride understood that God rules from above. (See Daniel 4:34-35)
And God will do according to His will and desire in your life too.